Mexico’s Via Verde Creates Recycled Vertical Gardens in Cities

Mexico’s Via Verde creates vertical gardens in cities – green spaces that generate oxygen, improve air quality, reduce urban heat islands and provide psychological benefits to highly populated cities.
Architect Fernando Ortiz Monasterio founded Via Verde in 2012, transforming more than 1,000 concrete columns into more than 60,000 square meters of vertical gardens that support Mexico City’s beltway. Via Verde can provide this urban transformation at no cost to the city or its inhabitants through funding provided by dedicating a portion of the transformed area to commercial sponsorship and publicity. Via Verde is a World Economic Forum Tech Pione.

Top 10 All-New Electric Cars on Roads in 2020

More and more manufacturers are focusing on developing new electric power trains and platforms which could result in the number of electric cars to grow rapidly over the next several years. The fall in prices, improvements in range, increased investment, and rollout of charging networks has started to create serious competition on the market. Big automakers like Volkswagen and Daimler are accelerating the transition towards electric drive, paving the way for the breakthrough of electric vehicles. Today we’ll talk about the top 10 all-electric cars that will hit the roads as early as 2020.

Audi e-tron Sportback

Audi aims at electrifying one-third of all new models and is going to bring its next all-electric car to market in 2020. The newly unveiled e-Tron Sportback comes with a futuristic design and embedded innovative AI technologies to ensure a comfortable and connected environment for its passengers. The vehicle will be built using the same electric drivetrain and battery as the company’s first all-electric car, the e-Tron Quattro SUV, but it’s equipped with a coupe a roof which makes the vehicle more aerodynamic, allowing it to overcome around 6 miles more distance. The all-wheel-drive SUV coup will be available in two options the higher-end version is expected to have a real-world range of about 210 miles on a full charge. It will be equipped with dual electric motors for a total regular output of 265 kilowatts and 414 pound-feet of torque. The new electric coupe a crossover features an innovative lighting technology with digitally controlled matrix LED units at the front and rear, which can produce excellent light combinations enabling the vehicle to communicate visually with the surroundings. The Audi e-Tron Sportback will have a starting price of about $78,000.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla has officially launched its highly anticipated compact crossover SUV which is expected to come to the market in fall 2020. The Model Y’s design is remarkably similar to the Model 3’s design, but thanks to its 10% bigger size it can be outfitted with a third row of seats for a total seating capacity of seven. The company offers both rear and all-wheel-drive variants which come with impressive aerodynamic performance enabling at the higher end version to reach 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. The car is mostly free of buttons on the inside featuring a large infotainment display in the middle of the dashboard the vehicle is able to achieve a real-world range of up to 300 miles on a single charge and has a starting price of $48,000. The cheaper version with a smaller battery is due to go on sale in spring 2021 with a price of $39,000. Tesla also has plans to produce a more powerful version of the Model S in 2020 which will come with a three-motor powertrain and new rear-facing seats. The specifications are still unknown but it will be quicker than the Tesla Model S P 100 d with ludicrous mode ready to set new records from an electric sedan

Ford Mustang Mach E


Ford finally unveils it’s gorgeous powerful long-range all-electric SUV, which is inspired by the company’s iconic muscle car. The Mustang Mach II comes with the three bar taillights and a familiarly shaped grille cutout. The vehicle will be available in five variants with both all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive power trains featuring standard and extended range battery options respectively. The company will first deliver the premium and first edition models in late 2020 which can achieve a real-world range of 270 miles with a pair of electric motors powered by an extended-range battery and the premium model with a single motor-driven powertrain can overcome a distance of 300 miles. The rear-wheel-drive base model can achieve a range of 230 miles on a full charge and reached 60 miles per hour in about 6.5 seconds driven by two electric motors. A special GT performance Edition, which will be available from spring 2021, is able to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds like the all-wheel-drive Model Y performance variants. Mach E offers a spacious interior featuring a large touchscreen in the center of the dashboard for navigation and entertainment as well as an additional screen in front of the driver for speed and battery information. The Mustang Mach E has a starting price of $43,900.

Rivian R1T


US-based automotive start-up Rivian has launched its first all-electric pickup truck which comes with an impressive all-electric powertrain and special features. It’s an intelligent adventure machine, with a robust and rugged design featuring as the company describes a lockable gear tunnel that extends through the entire width of the vehicle and provides more than 350 liters storage area. The five-passenger vehicle comes with three powertrain options equipped with four independent electric motors on each wheel and the higher end version provides a maximum 562 kilowatts power capacity and 3500 Newton meter of grounded torque per wheel. The ability to control the torque at the wheel and configure the total power output to different levels enables the owners to steer the pickup truck like a tank which is capable of reaching 60 miles per hour in an incredible three seconds. The different power levels match different choices of battery packs which can provide a range of 230 to 400 miles on a full charge. Inside it features a 15.6-inch touchscreen display dominating the middle of the dashboard for navigation and entertainment. Rivian has been working on possible configurations of the r1t to offer owners different options which could result in a zero-emission camper version of the vehicle. The r1t starts at $69,000 and the first deliveries are set to begin in late 2020.

BMW IX 3


BMW that aims at electrifying 25 models by 2023 is going to bring its next all-electric car to market in 2020 which will feature the fifth generation of BMW E drive technology for the first time. This means that the BMW IX 3 which was unveiled at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show will feature more integrated powerful and compact drivetrain and battery packs with higher energy capacity. BMW classifies the IX 3 as a sports activity vehicle that comes with a 70-kilowatt hours battery pack with an expected peak output of 250 kilowatts and at 150 kilowatts charging capacity. The BMW IX 3, which is due to go on sale next year, will be the first model produced for the entire global market at the Chinese production location in Shen yang.

Polestar Two


Volvo’s performance brand Polestar has launched its first all-electric car which is due to come to market in 2020. The Polestar 2 is built on Volvo’s all-electric adaptable compact modular architecture platform and comes with a performance-oriented design delivering a lower drag coefficient for enhanced aerodynamic performance. It’s the first vehicle that features an Android-powered infotainment system creating a unique and responsive customer experience the system provides all the necessary information on the vertically mounted 11-inch display and offers a broad range of services and functions using an in-car version of Google Assistant. A pair of electric motors, one on each axle, that joined forces to provide a total output of 300 kilowatts and 488 pound-feet of torque send a vehicle from naught to 60 miles per hour in less than five seconds. The battery has a total capacity of 78 kilowatt-hours for a real-world range of about 275 miles on a full charge. Dual electric pole star 2 which has a starting price of around $45,000, goes into production in China to be distributed globally from June 2020.

Porsche Taycan


German high-performance premium automobile manufacturer Porsche has finally unveiled the production version of its highly anticipated first all-electric car which comes with quite
stunning design and impressive performance. The Taycan’s stylish design which is very similar to the original Mission E concept enables superior driving dynamics with an impressive 0.22 drag coefficient. The company is going to bring both the higher end and base versions of the Taycan to market next year. They’re equipped with two permanent magnet synchronous motors one on each axle which can deliver a maximum power output of 560 kilowatts and 777 pound-feet of torque, enabling the higher-end version of the vehicle to hit 62 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds and develop a top speed of 162 miles per hour. A newly developed automatically switching to speed transmission on the rear axle provides quick acceleration and improves efficiency at high speeds. The 90 3.4 kilowatt-hours high class lithium-ion battery pack which Porsche calls the performance battery plus is based on an eight hundred volt technology instead of the usual 400 volts for improved charging and drive performance. As a result, the Taycan will be the first production Road car capable of charging at a maximum rate of 270 kilowatts, that can deliver an 80 percent charge in just twenty-two point five minutes. The cheapest version comes with a seventy-nine point two kilowatt-hours battery pack with a total output of 390 kilowatts and 225 kilowatts charging capacity. Taycan models can achieve a real-world range of 225 to 255 miles on a full charge. The sport sedan comes with a luxury forward-thinking interior offering innovative digital assistant services through several touchscreen displays and the interactive voice assistant to access all relevant information and control a host of features inside and outside of the car. The Porsche Taycan will be delivered to Europe and the US in the first half of 2020 and has a starting price of around $104,000.

VW id3


Volkswagen has finally launched its first next-generation all-electric car, the id3, which is based on the company’s new MEB platform. The German giant is taking huge steps in electrifying the car industry. The automaker is investing intensively in an all-electric platform and has plans to convert some of their entire gasoline-powered car production capacity to electric vehicle production capacity. For example, the Zwickau factory where the id3 is being produced now is set to be fully converted by 2022 enabling it to produce three hundred and thirty thousand electric cars per year. The company offers three options of the id3 electric hatchback with different battery packs respectively. Offering an impressive range of 205 to 340 miles on a full charge, the automaker will first deliver the mid-range variant or the first edition but the price is only known for the basic version which costs around $33,000. Thanks to the absence of the internal combustion engine the id3 are much roomier on the inside compared to the company’s popular golf hatchback and come with intuitive user experience and a bunch of high-tech features. The vehicle is controlled by the 10-inch touchscreen display and touch-sensitive buttons throughout the cabin. The id3 comes with Volkswagen’s latest driver-assist features and communicates visually with its occupants thanks to the completely new intelligent ID light concept. The car will start being delivered to Europe in the middle of 2020.

Mini Cooper SE


BMW has launched its second all-electric car the Mini Cooper SE electric hatchback which is slated to arrive in the first quarter of 2020. The vehicle shares the iconic mini design and characteristics but comes with a completely different powertrain based on the BMW i3 electric powertrain. With a front-mounted electric motor that delivers a maximum 135-kilowatt power output and 200-pound feet of torque, the car can reach 62 miles per hour in 7.3 seconds, transferring the thrill of its agility and performance. The electric mini cooper SE offers three style options that come with their own innovative technology and features. With the battery’s energy content of thirty-two point six-kilowatt hours, the vehicle can achieve a real-world range of about 140 miles on a single charge. The electric Mini will be delivered to Europe in the US at the beginning of 2020 and in the US it will have a starting price of $29,900.

Peugeot e-208


French automobile manufacturer Peugeot has launched its first all-electric production car the e-208. The sharp and smart-looking five-door electric hatchback offers a smooth and instinctive driving experience. The vehicle comes with the same interior and cargo space as its gasoline-powered counterparts. Inside it features a 10-inch HD color touchscreen for the center display and a 3d instrument panel display for speed and battery information the front-mounted 100-kilowatt electric motor is powered by a 50-kilowatt hours battery pack for a range of 211 miles on a full charge. The electric hatchback will arrive in early 2020 and is now available to pre-order from Europe with a starting price of about $34,000. The French automaker also has plans to bring its production cars to the US and Canada by 2023.

Mercedes-Benz EQ


Mercedes-Benz unveiled its next-generation all-electric car under the EQ brand at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show. The company intends to have more than 10 all-electric vehicles on the
market by 2022. The compact electric hatchback has aesthetic appeal thanks to the light technology featuring laser fibers the black panel at the front end acts as a virtual radiator grille and changes its look and color depending on drive modes. The vehicle will be equipped with two electric motors one on each axle for a total output of 200 kilowatts and 370 pound-feet of torque to send the EQA from 0 to 60 miles per hour in five seconds. With a 60-kilowatt hours highly efficient lithium-ion battery pack it can achieve a real-world range of more than 200 miles on a single charge. The price and precise delivery date is not clear but the EQA is expected to arrive in 2020 which one of these models would you like to be parked next to your house in the upcoming months tell us in the comments section below

Traveling with an electric vehicle: Making a cost-effective and efficient trip

INSIDER SECRET: Going all-electric for your daily drive (or even road trip) likely means huge savings from not having to refuel at gas stations, and you can save even more money by using one of the best no-annual-fee credit cards for your everyday purchases.

As recently as 10 years ago, people laughed at the idea of an electric vehicle being a viable mode of transportation for a daily short-haul driver, let alone one who goes on long road trips. They were mocked as unsafe, unreliable, and able to only travel very short distances before requiring a ton of time to recharge.

Fast forward to today. Technological advancements in batteries used in electric vehicles now allow you to travel long distances. Charging is quick and seamless. And electric car company manufacturers like Tesla have shown they’re a viable (even preferable) alternative for daily drivers, winning awards like MotorTrend’s Car of the Year.

Using an electric vehicle can make for a very cost-effective and fun road trip. (Photo by Smile Fight/Shutterstock)

Electric vehicles can also be much more economical. I personally own a Tesla Model S, and it has saved me over $500 a month on gas. Over an 8-year period of ownership, that will add up to $48,000.

(Note: If you decide to go all-electric, you probably won’t have much use for a gas credit card. That’s where some of the best no-annual-fee credit cards can be a great substitute. These cards don’t cost you anything to keep open and offer a strong rewards rate on everyday purchases.)

To give you confidence that an electric vehicle can be used for traveling long distances, we’ll go over current trends and options, as well as some of the pros and cons compared to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

Electric vehicle options

If you’re thinking about going electric, you can choose between a hybrid car or a fully electric vehicle.

Hybrid vehicles use two different types of power. The most common ones combine a gasoline-powered engine with an electric motor. Some of the most efficient hybrids have a fuel efficiency rated as high as 60 mpg on the highway, according to CarsDirect. That’s a lot higher than the overall average U.S. vehicle fuel economy, which Reuters says is 24.7 mpg.

Fully electric vehicles, however, deliver the most in terms of fuel efficiency. Vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 have been rated as high as 136 mpg equivalent (the EPA energy measurement for electric vehicles), and can save you tons of money you would otherwise spend on gas.

Road trips in an electric vehicle

With technological advancements in batteries, electric vehicles can now go just as far on a charge as gasoline-powered cars can on a tank of gas.

According to Business Insider, here are some of the top-selling electric vehicles, along with their top battery range:

  • Tesla Model 3 – 310 miles
  • Tesla Model S – 370 miles
  • Tesla Model X – 325 miles
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV – 238 miles
  • Nissan Leaf – 226 miles
  • BMW i3 – 153 miles (up to 200 miles with range extender)
  • Volkswagen e-Golf – 125 miles
  • Audi e-Tron – 204 miles
  • Jaguar I-Pace – 234 miles
  • Smart EQ Fortwo – 58 miles

Making your road trip seamless

There are a number of things you can do to make a road trip in an electric or hybrid vehicle seamless, such as planning your route to include charging stations, making use of EV-specific perks, staying close to large cities, driving efficiently and more.

Charging

Today, charging an electric vehicle can be done quickly and conveniently, both at home and on the road.

At-home charging

One of the greatest advantages of owning an electric vehicle is the fact that you can charge your car on your own time and in the safety, comfort and convenience of your own property. In other words, you won’t have to make a special trip to a gas station to refuel.

The popular YouTube channel Like Tesla cites the following data points in one of their videos:

  • According to a study done by Kelly Blue Book, the average length of car ownership is five years
  • The average person drives 37 miles per day while getting 24 mpg
  • With those numbers in mind, the average person would need to refuel once every nine days
  • Doing the math, that’s 40 stops at a gas station per year (365 days per year/nine days)

Assuming it takes five minutes to refuel, that’s at least 200 minutes per year the driver of a gasoline-powered car spends at gas stations, versus zero for an electric vehicle if you have access to a convenient place to charge it when it is not in use (i.e. at night while you sleep).

If this sounds appealing to you, do keep in mind that you will need to have a charging station installed by an electrician, which can be an added cost of a few hundred dollars. You’ll also want to make sure that installing a charging station is allowed, depending on your living arrangement.

Those living in apartments or condominiums, for instance, may not have the physical space necessary to install a charging station. In some cases, you may have to seek approval from your landlord or homeowner’s association. If charging at home isn’t possible, you’ll have to rely on public charging stations which can be far less convenient than refueling in a gasoline-powered car.

Destination charging

Charging your car on a long road trip can be just as seamless as charging art home because of the number of public charging stations now available throughout the U.S.

According to GreenCarCongress, there are over 68,800 Level 2 and DC Fast charging units throughout the U.S. Additionally, Tesla also has its own charging network of over 14,000 Superchargers in more than 1,600+ unique locations nationwide.

Recharging your car on a long road trip can be quite convenient. After driving for several hours, it’s not unusual for many people to want to stop for at least 15-30 minutes to eat, rest, and use the restrooms. With a vehicle like the Tesla Model 3, that’s enough time to charge the car to 80%.

Planning your route

Although electric vehicle charging stations are becoming increasingly common, it’s still a good idea to plan ahead to make sure there are enough charging stations along your specific route. Tools like EVTripPlanner can be helpful in mapping out a route for your road trip to ensure you have the ability to recharge at convenient points along the way.

Some vehicles, such as Tesla, have an in-car navigation system that includes the locations of charging stations, along with recommended stops, to ensure you do not run your battery too low.

Utilizing destination perks

As an owner of an electric vehicle, there are a number of perks that you may be able to enjoy:

  • Priority parking spaces: some retail stores and shopping centers will have special designated parking spaces right up front for electric vehicles. These can save you tons of time because you can skip having to circle a busy parking lot for a spot.
  • HOV carpool lane access: depending on the state in which you reside, you may be eligible to apply for HOV lane stickers that will grant you access to the carpool lanes even if you are traveling solo. If you live in a busy metropolitan area like I do, carpool lanes can easily shave off 15-30 minutes off your commute.
  • Free valet parking and hotel charging: some hotels offer free valet parking and destination charging. This can save you the trouble of having to make a special trip to find a charging station before or after your arrival to the hotel. Not all hotel locations will offer this so you’ll need to check ahead of time, but some hotel chains that offer this include:
    • Marriott
    • Holiday Inn
    • Best Western
    • Hyatt

Stay closer to cities

Large cities typically have a higher density of charging stations. Tesla Superchargers, for instance, are typically located in large shopping centers or within walking distance to restaurants and entertainment areas.

For anyone looking to own or rent an electric vehicle, living in or around a large city likely means you’ll have easy access to a strong public charging infrastructure to support your daily driving needs.

Here is a list of top EV-friendly cities, according to AutoBlog:

  • Portland, Oregon
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Baltimore
  • New York
  • Denver
  • Los Angeles
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Austin
  • San Francisco

Drive efficiently

If you’re looking to skip as many charging stations as possible or are worried about running out of juice before your next stop, there are a few things you can do to improve your car’s fuel efficiency.

Not using your car’s air conditioning or other accessories are two small things that can help. But by and large, the single largest thing affecting your car’s range is your driving style.

Speed is one of the biggest items that can negatively affect your range. The faster you go, the more aerodynamic resistance will come into play. Simply put: slow down and limit your top speed to significantly improve your range. You can also avoid “jackrabbit” starts, and instead take it nice and easy on the accelerator.

Drafting is another strategy you can use to improve your car’s efficiency. By driving behind another large vehicle, you can improve your own vehicle’s fuel efficiency because you’ll have a lot less aerodynamic resistance to cut through.

Keep in mind that altitude, temperature, and weather conditions may also affect your vehicle’s range. Because you don’t have control over those factors, it’s a good idea to build in an appropriate buffer to ensure you don’t run out of battery life.

Don’t push your limits

It’s never a good idea to run your car’s gas tank down to zero, but it goes doubly-true for an electric vehicle. Even though your car’s battery reading might indicate it has a few miles left, it’s largely dependent on the accuracy of that reading and your battery’s calibration. Your battery’s age, health, temperature and weather conditions are just a few factors that could affect the accuracy of that reading. Because of this, there have been few reports of people’s cars running out of battery even though the battery gauge indicated it still had several miles left.

The best thing to do is to keep a buffer of at least 10-15 miles to avoid being stranded.

If you run out of battery

If you do happen to run out of battery power and find yourself stranded, roadside assistance should be your first call. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, some roadside assistance services may be able to provide charging services so that you can make it to the nearest charging station. AAA, for instance, offers these services in certain locations. In other cases, your car may have to be towed to a charging station.

Bottom line

Thanks to technological advancements, a road trip in an electric vehicle is not only possible but can be more preferable compared to a more traditional gasoline-powered car. Electric vehicles nowadays can drive many hundreds of miles on a single charge, are much more economical and can be recharged quickly and conveniently at home or on the road.

Plus, as an EV owner, you can take advantage of special perks like carpool lane access, priority parking space in certain shopping centers, free valet parking, free hotel charging and more.

If you’ve taken a road trip in an electric vehicle, let us know what your experience was like in the comments below.

For the latest tips and tricks on saving money on your travels, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.

Elon Musk said Tesla cars will likely drive without human assistance by the end of 2019

Tesla Roadster

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Wednesday that he expects Tesla vehicles to be able to safely drive themselves without human assistance by the end of 2019.

“When will we think it’s safe for full self-driving? It’s probably towards the end of this year, and then it’s up to regulators to decide when they want to approve that,” he said during the automaker’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

Read more: Elon Musk said he expects Tesla to deliver around 50% more cars than last year, even if there’s a global recession

Musk has missed projections about autonomous driving technology on multiple occasions. In 2015, Musk said Tesla would have fully-autonomous driving technology ready in about two years, and Tesla has passed multiple deadlines set by Musk to send a self-driving vehicle across the US.

During Wednesday’s call, Musk also characterized Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot driver assistance system as having full self-driving capability on the highway.

“We already have full self-driving capability on highways. So from highway on-ramp to highway exit, including passing cars and going from one highway interchange to another, full self-driving capability is there,” he said.

Musk’s description of Autopilot’s capabilities contrasts with the owner’s manual for Tesla’s Model 3 sedan, which instructs owners to remain in control of their vehicle when using Autopilot.

“Never depend on these components to keep you safe,” the manual says of Autopilot’s features. “It is the driver’s responsibility to stay alert, drive safely and be in control of the vehicle at all times.”

Tesla has received criticism for how it has promoted Autopilot, and fatal accidents involving the feature have raised questions about whether drivers place too much trust in it and fail to pay attention to the road. Tesla says Autopilot is meant to be used with an attentive driver whose hands are on the wheel, but the most visible accidents involving Autopilot have involved reports of distracted drivers.

In October, Consumer Reports released its rankings of four semi-autonomous driver-assistance systems. Autopilot ranked second, behind Cadillac’s Super Cruise, with the highest rating among the four for capability and performance and ease of use, but the lowest for keeping drivers engaged.

Tesla on Wednesday announced its earnings from the fourth quarter of 2018. The automaker posted adjusted earnings of $1.93 per share on revenue of $7.23 billion. Wall Street analysts had expected adjusted earnings of $2.10 per share on revenue of $7.1 billion.

Top 7 Electric Crossover SUVs w/ 250 Miles of Range

New battery-electric vehicles that will released for the model years of 2018 and 2019 could possibly shift the attention of consumers away from Tesla. Audi, Hyundai and at least a couple new manufacturers finally matured enough to make their own all-electric cars in the crossover SUV bodies. This video can serve as a quick overview of current market situation. Some cars are already on sale in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and China, so we were able to add prices and final technical information about them, while some are waiting for their first public debuts (companies already confirmed their production, though). Short list of things this video presentation will teach you (information about the sourced used in making this video are in the end of the presentation; image by autoblog.com/2018/02/27/hyundai-kona-electric-suv-revealed): – Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo can finally set the company to the path of electrifying their whole lineup. The 600hp E Cross Turismo SUV will be good for urban and offroad driving thanks to rugged tires and 310 miles of range; – Jaguar I-Pace is slightly bigger than most of cars on the list. Despite this, it will still show great range and be slightly cheaper than Tesla’s SUV. – Hyundai Kona is the competitor for the domination among more affordable EV options. Hyundai are known for making cars with competitive pricing and good specifications, so Kona Electric is the first long-range option to Bolt EV. – Chevrolet Bolt EV is usually described as the uncool all-electric car. Customers, who are not chasing the hype could have the time of their lives driving this car: it has the range of over 200 miles and low price compared to most of the competition. – Nio ES8 is the cheaper alternative to Model X that was created for the Chinese market. The main selling point of this big SUV is its pricing. For the smaller amount of money, you get cars that are not less advanced than ones created by Elon Musk’s company. – Audi Etron is scheduled to start rolling out of the production lines in the second half of 2018. Consumers in Europe can already place their reservations for Audi’s first long-range SUV. – Tesla Model X: no list is complete without this product. Although everyone is chasing Elon Musk, in 99% of cases Tesla remains on top. Let’s see if anything changes for them this year.